Tuesday, 13 February 2007

I Think I Am Worried About The Death of Newspapers

A number of people who I read regularly have been blogging about the coming death of traditional news media. On Mathew Ingram's site, he recently had a posting and a quote from Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman and publisher of the New York Times that I thought was worth repeating,

“Given the constant erosion of the printed press, do you see the New York Times still being printed in five years? “I really don’t know whether we’ll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don’t care either,” he says.”

So here’s the thing. I was listening to the CBC radio on the weekend and they had a piece about “spin, the spinners and the spun” produced by Ira Basen about in part the death of investigative journalism and the threat to democratic political systems.

I have to tell you, if you have the time, you have to listen or read about it. It really has got me thinking that we need to consider the repercussions of the death of old media.

They give a stat that Tony Blair’s party had about 300 what they call ‘spin doctor’s’ on his staff when he was elected, while he now has over 3000. Can you imagine this? And with the number of layoffs at newspapers and traditional media news outlets, what would be really interesting is to know the ratio of those communications people to the investigative journalists. And this all leaves a number of questions in my mind:

-Has our desire for 24.7 content forced a wave of shallow reporting?

-Is getting the info fast more important to us as readers than getting it right as the cbc piece suggests?

-Will models such as payperpost and the ability of the spin-doctors to buy a network of opinion impact more than just products and actually affect public opinion on controversial issues such as global warming, abortion or the war in Iraq?

-Once media companies realize they can’t afford to pay for investigative journalists and that no one seems to ‘care’, who will fill the role of being a watchdog for the public?

Well anyway, I would love to follow this more closely, go and get a whole bunch of divergent opinions, fact check ‘em and write a story about this but truthfully I don’t have the time. I am not a journalist. I am just a entrepreneur full time who impersonates a marketer part time and who makes the time in-between that to blog about the issues I care about.


Another casualty said...

Newspapers would appear to be in a death spiral right now, and no doubt there will continue to be major changes in the industry for the rest of the decade. You can follow the death (or potential death) of newspapers at http://mediafade.blogspot.com/

Leigh said...

Great site thanks for the link. There's no 'about us' section...anything you wanna share?

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